Your Guide to How Orange and Blue Make Brown

Last updated: March 19, 2024

Let's go on a colorful adventure! In this blog, we'll guide you through the vibrant combination of mixing orange and blue. If you love all things art, then why not make your own colors, like a true artist would? Simply grab a palette, a few tubes of paint, then squeeze and mix away.

what does orange and blue make color blending

Mixing color to add different tones and shades to your art and craft projects is a whole heap of fun. If you're wondering what does mixing orange and blue make? Read on, and you'll find out!

Mixing Orange and Blue | Complementary Colors | Shades of Brown | Ideas for Blue and Orange | FAQ

What Does Orange and Blue Make

what does orange and blue make color wheel

What happens when orange and blue collide? First, let's refresh our memory on the color chart. Blue is what they call a primary color. It cannot be made by mixing two or more colors together. Orange is a secondary color, meaning it is created by two colors — in this case, red and yellow.

Once you understand the way the color wheel works, you'll find it easier to mix just the right shade you need. The appearance of the brown that you blend depends on pigmentation, lighting, ratio of blue to orange, and the warm and cool undertones in each color.

If you mix an equal amount of orange and blue together, the simple answer is that you'll make another color, brown.

If the color feels too orange, then add more blue. If, however, it appears too blue, then add more orange, until the brown looks just right. Add black and white to your palette to mix tints and shades of brown.

Mixing Blue and Orange Together

what does orange and blue make paint mixing palette

Let's delve a little deeper into color theory and learn why these shades go so well together. The science behind this color combo is quite simple.

Did you know that orange and blue are complementary colors? That means that they are directly opposite each other on the color wheel and go very well when worn or painted together.

Brown is the color of earth, and much like the solid earth, it can be used to depict grounding, sustainability and dependability. It is a warm color and can symbolize comfort, resilience and security. In life, many things are brown, like chocolate! Brown can also be found in many tones of fall and thanksgiving.

Mixing orange and blue can create striking contrasts and harmonious blends of brown. You could paint warm natural landscapes, or how about a mesmerizing sunset over the ocean, with the golden orange sun rays blending down into the ocean's blues? Flames also hold shades of orange and blue. Fun fact — the blue is from carbon and hydrogen in burning firewood.

Mixing Other Shades of Brown from Blue and Orange

what does orange and blue make brown color swatches

If you love art or science, you'll love color mixing — it's a fun visual experiment. Depending on the quantities you use of each color, there are hundreds of lighter and darker blue and orange shades you can create.

Unleash your creativity and combine the warm tones of orange with the cool shades of blue. Add a little white into the mix to make lighter shades, or add more blue (or red to bring out a deeper orange) to create darker shades and shadows.

Try mixing different ratios of orange and blue paint together, to create a spectrum of shades, from subtle pastels to bold primary colors.

There are almost endless color possibilities, you could even achieve a dull purple shade. The more light blue (or cyan) that you add to orange, the greener your color will become — you can even make earthy greens, to a brighter turquoise.

Using a paintbrush and pallet, here's an idea of the colors you could create:

  • Light blue + orange — greenish light brown / light khaki
  • Light blue + light orange — beige/brown
  • Light blue + dark orange — light brown
  • Orange + blue — brown
  • Dark blue + orange — russett
  • Dark blue + dark orange — rusty copper
  • Dark blue + light orange — reddish light brown
  • Brown Tints (by Adding White)

    Create a tint by using white to lighten your brown blend. Tints can be used to add highlights to your artwork or to soften the color. Buff, tan and beige are common brown tints. These colors are often used in neutral living or working spaces.

    Brown Shades (by Adding Black)

    Create a shade by using black to darken your brown blend. Shades can be used to add shadows to your artwork.

    Shades deepen the brown you create. Darker browns can help to create mystery and drama, as well as being used to add depth and intensity to your creations.

    Brown Tones (with Gray and Brown)

    The cleanest way to create a tone is to add gray (a mixture of white and black) to your brown color. Toning down a color, dulls the color, and reduces its intensity. A great tip for color mixing is to always do so gradually, adding a little paint at a time to avoid getting the wrong color entirely.

    Cooler Browns

    Blue is the coolest-toned color on the color wheel. So when you mix more blue than orange, you are creating a cool-toned brown, such as a brownish purple.

    Warmer Browns

    Orange is a warm color on the color wheel. Mixing more orange than blue creates a warm-toned brown, like a rusty copper brown or reddish brown, also known as burnt sienna. The brownish crimson color marron is also one of the French translations for brown.

    Best Ideas for Blue and Orange Mixes

    what does orange and blue make painting girl

    Whether you're a kid, parent, teacher, or just someone that loves to get arty — you'll want to put this color combo to the test! If you are ready to get hands-on, grab your paintbrushes and explore the almost endless possibilities of mixing orange and blue with fun experiments and art activities.

    Brown is a versatile color and can be used to add color to many things. Paintings with brown tones could depict nature and earthy tones. From the soil itself, to brown bears, tree trunks, beautiful moths, and frogs, that blend into muddy puddles. Shades of brown are even named for the things that represent them, like coffee, chestnut and chocolate!

    Try our simple experiment using your choice of paints (from oils to acrylics or watercolors) to blend orange and blue and see what magical colors emerge! Here are a few ideas:

  • Tie-dye project using orange and blue dyes to design your own t-shirt!
  • A homemade orange and blue playdough recipe to mold and squish.
  • Paint an animal — frog, bear, moth. There's lots of brown in nature.
  • Print off our FREE coloring sheets to paint in shades of orange and blue.
  • FAQs

    What colors do orange and blue make?

    Usually a reddish brown, depending on how much of each color you mix.

    Does mixing blue and orange make green?

    It can make some shades of green, like a brown-ish green.

    Use Shades of Brown with Our Favorite Coloring Pages

    So, whether you're a budding artist, or simply have a curious mind, we hope we've answered the question of “What Color Does Orange and Blue Make”.

    Now that you have the answer and a bit of artistic inspiration — print off one of our coloring sheets, mix your colors, and get painting!

    free printable dinosaur coloring pages for kids

    What Other Colors Can I Mix?


  • Complementary Colors
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  • Mixing Blue and Pink
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  • What Does Orange and Blue Make?
  • Red and Green Make Brown
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